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SIK ANTHONY ABSOLUTE.
Scene I.-A Street at Bath. COACHMAN crosses the stage.--Enter Fag, looking after
him. What! Thomas! Sure 'tis he! - What! Thomas ! Thomas !
Coachm. Hey! odd's life!-Mr. Fag! give us your hand, my old fellow servant !
Fag. Excuse my glove, Thomas; I'm devilish glad to see you, my lad! why, my prince of charioteers, you look as hearty!—but who the deuce thought of seeing
you in Bath?
Coachm. Sure, Master, Madamı Julia, Harry, Mrs. Kate, and the postillion, be all come.
Coachm. Ay: master thought another fit of the gout was coming to make him a visit, so he'd a mind to g'it the slip,—and whip! we were all off at an hour's warning.
Fag. Ay, ay; hasty in every thing, or it would not be Sir Anthony Absolute. Coachm. But tell us, Mr. Fag, how does young
Mas. ter? Odd, Sir Anthony will stare, to see the Captain here!
Fag. I do not serve Captain Absolute now.
Fag. At present, I am employed by Ensign Beverley.
Coachm. I doubt, Mr. Fag, you han't changed for the better.
Fag. I have not changed, Thomas.
Fag. No. Well, honest Thomas, I must puzzle you no further ;-briefly then—Captain Absolute and Ensign Beverley are one and the same person.
Coachm. But, pray, why does your master pass only for ensign ?- now, if he had shammed general, indeed
Fag. Ah, Thomas ! there lies the mystery o’the matter!-Harkye, Thomas, my master is in love with a lady of a very singular taste-a lady, who likes him better as a half-pay ensign, than if she knew he was son and heir to Sir Anthony Absolute, a baronet of three thousand a year.
Coachm. That is an odd taste, indeed! but has she got the stuff, Mr. Fag? is she rich, eh?
Fag. Rich! why, I believe, she owns half the stocks! -Z- -s, Thomas, she could pay the national debt, as easily as I could my washerwoman !-She has a lapdog that eats out of gold—she feeds her parrot with small pearls, and all her thread-papers are made of bank notes !
Coachm. Bravo, 'faith!--Odd! I warrant she has a set of thousands, at least ; but does she draw kindly with the Captain ?
Fag. As fond as pigeons.
Fag. Miss Lydia Languish.-But there is an old tough aunt in the way—though, by the by, she has never seen my master for he got acquainted with Miss while on a visit in Gloucestershire.
Coachm. Well, I wish they ere once harnessed together in matrimony. But, pray, Mr. Fag, what kind
of a place is this Bath? I ha' heard a great deal of it;-here's a mort o'merry making, eh?
Fag. Pretty well, Thomas, pretty well—'tis a good lounge--but d-n the place, I'm tired of it; their regular hours stupify memnot a fiddle or a card after eleven ! however, Mr. Faulkland's gentleman and I keep it up a little in private parties ;-I'll introduce you there, Thomas, you'll like him much.—But, Thomas, you must polish a little-indeed you must :—Here, now, this wig! what, the devil, do you do with a wig, Thomas? none of the London whips, of any degree of ton, wear wigs now.
Coachm. More's the pity, more's the pity, I say— Odds life! when I heard how the lawyers and doctors had took to their own hair, I thought how 'twould go next. Odd rabbit it! when the fashion had got foot on the bar, I guessed 'twould mount to the box! but 'tis all out of character, believe me, Mr. Fag: and lookye, I'll never giup mine, the lawyers and doctors may do as they will.
Fag. Well, Thomas, we'll not quarrel about that.
Coachm. Why, bless you, the gentlemen of they professions ben't all of a mind,- for in our village now, thoff Jack Gauge, the exciseman, has ta’en to his car. rots, there's little Dick, the farrier, swears he'll never forsake nis bob, though all the college should appear with their own heads!
Fag. Indeed! well said, Dick! but hold, markmark, Thomas !
Coachm. Zooks, 'tis the captain! Is that the lady with him?
Fag. No, no; that is Madam Lucy, my master's mistress's maid ; they lodge at that house—but I must after him, to tell him the news.
Coachm. Odd, he's giving her money !--Well, Mr. Fag-